Elizabeth Macquarie

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For other people named Elizabeth Campbell, see Elizabeth Campbell (disambiguation).

Elizabeth Macquarie (1778–1835) was the second wife of Lachlan Macquarie who served as Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821. She played a significant role in the establishment of the colony and is recognised in the naming of many Australian landmarks including Mrs Macquarie's Chair and numerous Elizabeth Streets, e.g. in Hobart .[1] Governor Macquarie named the town (now City) of Campbelltown, NSW after his wife's maiden name[2] and a statue of her now stands in Mawson Park, Campbelltown.

Biography[edit]

Born Elizabeth Henrietta Campbell, she was the youngest daughter of John Campbell of Airds, Scotland. A distant cousin of Macquarie's she first met him at the age of 26 when he was an army officer. They were married three years later in 1807. Shortly after, in 1809, he was appointed to the governorship of New South Wales and she followed him. She is said to have taken a particular interest in the welfare of women convicts and indigenous people as well as helping pioneer hay-making in the colony. Elizabeth's library of books on architecture were used by her husband and architect Francis Greenway in the planning of government buildings.[1]

During her time in Australia she traveled to Tasmania in 1811, across the Blue Mountains in 1815, and in 1818 to the Hunter River.[1]

At the end of her husband's term, she returned with him to Scotland in 1823, living at the Macquarie estate of Jarvisfield on the Isle of Mull. The Macquaries had two children, a girl Jane who died in infancy and a boy Lachlan. Following her husband's death in London in 1824, Elizabeth lived with a ₤400 pension from the British government. From 1825 to 1828 she lived in Surrey and Middlesex, spending summers at Jarvisfield. In 1828-29 she lived in London at 58 Upper Charlotte Street in a house that was bequeathed to her by her friend Henrietta Meredith. In 1830 she moved to Aberdeen, returning to Jarvisfield the next year when Lachlan purchased a commission in the Army. She died at Gruline House on 11 March 1835, and was posthumously granted 2,000 acres (810 ha) of land in New South Wales.[1][3]

Street sign on Elizabeth Street, Hobart
Statue of Elizabeth Macquarie in Mawson Park, Campbelltown, NSW

Places named after/in honour of Elizabeth Macquarie[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]